The Petroleum Services Association of Canada (PSAC) has upgraded its 2017 oil and gas well drilling estimates by 23 percent amidst recovering global oil prices following a two-year rout. The upgrade came yesterday (30 January) and the association now estimates that 5,150 wells will be drilled across Canada this year, up from previously estimated 4,175 wells. More than half of the total number of wells is expected to be drilled in Alberta (2,706), Canada’s top drilling destination, followed by Saskatchewan with almost 2,000 wells and British Colombia with 367.
Canada’s oilfield service industry was negatively affected by plummeting oil prices since mid-2014 as oil companies halted exploration and drilling plans and cut capital investment. However, the sector is slowly recovering, encouraged by increasing demand and thanks to both US and Canadian crude holding above $50, Canadian oil sector can resume working on its drilling projects once again. “Some of the Canadian oilfield service, supply and manufacturing sector are realizing some uptick in activity as oil prices recover and operators increase their drilling programs,” PSAC Chief Executive Mark Salkeld said in a statement.
Canada has the third biggest oil reserves in the world and is the fifth largest oil producer and fourth largest oil exporter. About 60% of its oil produce comes from oil sands and the remainder is light crude oil, heavy crude oil and natural gas condensate. Most of Canada’s petroleum production is for export, with almost 100% going to the United States. Canada provides the US with more than 40% of its crude oil imports.